BTT #59: So you think you are better than Lady Macbeth

For dVerse Open Link Night, I am going to post two poems that have been inspired and arisen out of another poem or comment that occurred in a prior dVerse post.  The first came out of a comment by Jane Dougherty where she wrote in response to a poem of mine about racial violence that “at least Lady Macbeth had enough sense to go insane.”   Sadly, we live in a violent and bloody world, and we are all culpable to some degree.  But people of conscience  (like Jane) who are brave enough to be a conscience (like Jane) inspire hope in me that we can seek peace.

The second was inspired this very evening by a poem by our own  Rob Kistener about a kiss under a willow tree. (7-27-19 note: I have since given this poem its own post- Willow’s Kiss).

I will give links to the original poems and comments sections and associated initial rough drafts at the bottom of the post.  It may be fair to question if I helped the poems or if I should have just let the rough drafts stand.  If you want, you can tell me if you like the finished or original versions better.

Here is the link to the OLN kindly hosted by Mish:

Open Link Night #246

Lady Macbeth Cottilard
Image is from poster of the 2015 Movie directed by Jason Kurzel, with Marion Cotillard and Jason Fassbender.  My humble opinion is that this is the best version of Macbeth I have ever seen on screen.  Y’all need to go buy it. It lost 4 million dollars according to Wikipedia, which is a crying shame because it is wicked awesome.   ok… now back to the poetry.

So you think you are better than Lady Macbeth?


By Lona Gynt, June 2019.


Water is insufficient solvent for the stain,

My own hands seem clean enough so

I can smugly wonder,

At how the Scottish Queen

At least had decency

Enough to go insane.

While good people

Of the world just

Hire out the killing

Carefully lined in

Rows and columns

Squaring out the singing

Of some sacred tribal strain,

Not even knowing they

Are blinded by blood

That flows right past

Into roiling waves

Shed in constant weeping

By fallen soldier’s kin.

So still it goes.

Don’t get me wrong

I don’t blame Any One, this is

Larger than a scruff upon

The heath, or the careful

Dissection of a

Reputation, it even

Swallows all the toils

And troubles and the

Weird sisters of fate even

Cast themselves

Into the Rendering


“All Hail Macbeth, or All Hail Sally

Or Billy, thou shalt be soup



We are all a part

Of this.

We count and figure

And plan and preach

And sleep and rest,

But I think it hard to know

If we can dream

Rising in the morning

As we do

To smile and press,

And quite decently,

It seems,

Close our eyes

And kill again.


Lona Gynt, June 2019, All rights reserved


This poem is also available in the publication listed below

January 2020:

Three poems accepted to the annual anthology for 2019 Out Loud HSV

Out Loud 2019 cover

“Walking the Dog on the Fairway at 9 pm”

“So you think you are better than Lady Macbeth”

“Come Soft Snows”

Available  at this site:


weeping willow
Image from Pixaby, free for non-commercial use.

A Willow’s Kiss


A willow’s kiss

Wakens slowly but

Runs deep.

Joy sings

But always parts,

If not with silent passing

Then with slowly tilting hearts.

The impervious stream flows

Without asking

To measure bliss or sleep,

We just hear the

Whispered roundings

Of time enough

To weep.


  • Lona Gynt, June 2019


All rights reserved for text to Lona Gynt, June 2019


Here are the links to the “mother poems” and comments

Willow Tall

Lady Macbeth Recited at Out Loud Huntsville, Open Mic Night 10-27-19.

delete soon

33 thoughts on “BTT #59: So you think you are better than Lady Macbeth

  1. I’m very flattered that my comment left a mark! Your poem is spot on. We fuel wars even when we’re not actually fighting them, we hail ‘our boys’ as heroes when they are killed fighting someone else’s ‘boys’, elevating war to a sacred mission. We conveniently forget that the countries waging ugly, brutal, bloody wars, the ones we really despise like the African and Arab countries, are doing it with weapons we have sold them, made in our factories, using our labour, in the name of jobs, commerce, trade, growth, making X great again. And we see no reason to even feel a twinge of guilt, never mind go mad over it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We just have to keep trying, and loving those true heroes, crossing stalks of grass into the sky… ribbit!
      Words do leave a mark, yours always do, and they are a light. Thank you friend.


  2. To me what has always been terrifying about “Macbeth” is that it resounds so primally true, even when simply reading the text. A live performance completely daggers any pretense of Them onstage and Me. No difference. I am Macbeth, I am Lady Macbeth, and am the Weird Sisters and avenging Birnam Wood. Our insanity is that we’ve destroyed those proximals; we forget that “we are all a part / of this.” It was also, apparently, a play “to unlearn evil,” rubbing out our face-masks with the blunt force of ambition, guile, and lies. We’ve also forgotten the education, and so swing the axe with abandon.

    “Willow’s Kiss” — those “whispered roundings” are proof enough that grief sighs eternal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend. I love you and your words, and the scope of your caring, these redound to hope and light for me in this scary world. Therisa’s poem Shows that axe swinging, but ends in love, we truly are all a part and togather too Unlearn evil.. you have added another layer to this play for me. As always, my thanks


  3. I like the first poem in particular, Lona, that “stain, queen, insane, lined in,strain, kin, again”, thread running through it, the poem is musical and it flows…”water is insufficient solvent for the stain” is a great line. JIM

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sanaa, there have been some profound difficulties and joys that have conspired to make me be largely absent, but I love dVerse and am grateful that you enjoyed these poems 💜


    1. Thank you Rob, I really liked Tall Willows, and this made me think of the weeping that willows do with the inevitable loss that is the flip side of love (But we still would not trade in the love to be free of grief, would we?) Appreciate you Rob!


  4. The virtue of going in insane is a really cool way of contrast the ignorance or even righteousness from the people calling themselves good… and that include all of us to some extent… maybe it’s worth to remember this quote by Solzhenitsyn:

    “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

    Which I think partly expresses some of your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have so much to learn from Solzhenitsyn, I love that you included that quote. This is true, I am not a pssimist, but you might not know it by this Lady Macbeth poem, but I think it is reality that we all have good and evil, but we shiled ourselves from recognizing the evil. I liked Brendan’s thought of “unlearning evil.” It might be the capability to strive to do that which helps us live up to our humanity. Bjorn, thank you for this critical insight, you approach each interaction so thoughtfully, and that, my friend, is a joy.


  5. I agree with Brendan about Macbeth resounding and being the characters. Shakespeare will never cease to be relevant; he delves into the human soul and brings us out kicking and screaming, loving and hating, creating and killing. I love how you’ve taken Jane’s words to pivot your poem, Lona, and two of the lines that stand out for me are:
    ‘Squaring out the singing
    Of some sacred tribal strain’.
    ‘A Willow’s Kiss’ is such a joyful poem about one of my favourite trees (I have so many!). We have a curly willow in the garden, right outside the window where I write – I can see it now, with the sun filtering through its topmost leaves. It never stops moving. I feel willow-kissed every day. So sad that it ends with weeping.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kim, I am really touched by your thoughtful insights, the bard is rough but skillful obstetrician indeed helping to bring us kicking and screaming and hopefully more loving than hating, into this world. Jane’s words were a pivot, My Soap dispenser poem had me feeling all smug and superior to the racist vandal, but Jane’s comments got me thinking how we all, myself included, particpate in violence, even if for an avowed social benefit. Macbeth started as a general for his country, an act of immense violence, but seen as socially necessary, and it is actually incremtnally small steps from there that make him so reprehensible, and thus holds us all up to the mirror, hopefully as Brendan says, “to unlearn evil.” I am not a pacifist, I have served in the Military, I realize it is necessary. But oh how this world would be better if each one of us could just love instead… sigh.
    And I am especially happy about the joy you hve with the Willow poem, I also have always loved weeping willows, and perhaps because the name defines my perception I have always pictured them as quiet and solid and sad. Love is a joy, we would not trade it, but it cannot exist without grief coming attached at some point, else it would not be love would it? Yet even though it comes with grief, the love gives it meaning.


  7. Wow! Both these poems are lovely with different moods. The first one is dark and intense, the other one is tender and sad and sweet. You surely made Jane and Rob proud, IMO. 😀👍

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: BTT 58.2.5: A Willow’s Kiss – Scattered thoughts made a little more random

  9. So sorry for this very late response, Lona.

    I was very moved by both of your poems. The first one should give us chills just thinking about the lack of empathy this world displays. Respect for others, empathy, kindness…I believe it all starts in the early years of life. Evil is bred by neglect, ignorance, lack of nurturing. Hearts are intact until they are broken. There is peace until someone involved thrives on power rather than resolution or acceptance. It is a complicated matter but yet it shouldn’t be… this lack of evolving in a humane humankind.

    Liked by 1 person

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